Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Break

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

First let me say that I love all of my little people and they make my life so fun. But...I love Christmas break! Here are some reasons why:

1. I can sleep in. Not having to hear the alarm go off at 5:30 every morning is THE best part of being off of work. My teacher friends would agree, I can hear them now. :)

2. Enjoying my coffee on the couch. Usually I drink it in the car on the way to work and finish it while the kids are coming in the room. Sometimes, on crazy mornings, it gets forgotten and turns cold. So, of course I love to sit on the couch in my PJ's and actually ENJOY every sip of my glorious coffee.

3. Not having a schedule to live by. At school, everything is scheduled...even my bathroom break. Welcome to my life. If you have a job where you can go to the bathroom when you want, then be grateful. Teachers have to train their bodies to wait until lunch, or later some days. Try that every day-I dare you!

4. One word...ELLEN! Every day that I am off, I watch Ellen. Period. I don't do anything or go anywhere until Ellen is over. Seriously. Most of the days that I am off in the year, the episodes are re-runs because typically it is a holiday and she is not filming new episodes. But, since I am usually about 1/2 way through my day with the little people when Ellen comes on, the re-runs are all new to me. So, thank you Ellen for making my day...all through Christmas break!

5. Eating lunch when I want to. Like I said above, EVERYTHING that happens at school is by a schedule. I live by my watch. But, on break...I can eat at whatever time I want! And, I don't have to shove my food in my mouth in 5 minutes....I can actually ENJOY it. For those of you who have an hour lunch break every day at work...I hate you. As a teacher, we get 30 minutes. Which turns into about...10. Because...we have to drop off our class, make sure that they get where they need to be, go to the bathroom (finally!), and heat up our lunch. So, by the time I do all of that I usually have about 10-12 minutes to eat. Ahh... the joys of a teacher's lunch! But, this also one of my favorite times of the day. Why you may ask? Because this is my "adult" time. Most days this is the first time I get to talk to anyone over the age of 6. Doesn't take much to please me. :)

6. Not hearing my name 100 times. Figure this....I have 21 little people. Every time (yes, every time) any of them need to tell me/ask me something they start with my name. So, if they all talk to me 4 or 5 times each that is over 100 times a day. So, it is nice not to hear "Mrs. Gagley..." ALL DAY.

7. Talking to Brent on his lunch. I never get talk to him until after 4:30. Most days, I don't even see my phone until 3:00. On break, I can talk to him on his lunch break. Which is always nice! :)

8. Spending time with family. I love to see all of our family over the holidays. Brent and I are blessed with wonderful family!

You might see this as complaining.....but I assure it is not. These are things that are a part of my daily life at work. As I have said before in many posts, I love my job and would not trade it for the world. But...and my teacher friends will agree....I LOVE Christmas break. 2 weeks of sleeping in, enjoying my coffee, watching Ellen, eating when I want, seeing family and making my schedule as I go.

So...I have 6 days left of all of these wonderful things and then it is back to the little people! I am kind of starting to miss them.....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Staying Together

For those of you who don't know, my entire class was together last year in Kindergarten. My principal decided to try it as an "experiment" to see how it worked out. It is sort of like looping, but without their teacher. They are a very sweet group and the perfect group to try this with. So far, it has been kind of crazy. They have been together for so long that they are starting to do things that most kids don't do until the end of the year. Such as: pick on each other, complain and whine about silly things, and just be annoying to each other. It has really worn down my patience. And now I am wondering....what is going to happen in May when these things normally happen. I am a bit worried to find out....

But, I digress.

Today, we were talking about Thanksgiving. I had read a story to them about the first Thanksgiving and what had happened to the Pilgrims. It was a long story and I could tell that I would be loosing their attention soon. So, I quickly finished the story and said "Did you know that Thanksgiving is always on the last Thursday in November?" Of course they replied with "Really?! Always?" And so I said: "Yes, every year of your entire life, Thanksgiving will always always always be on the last Thursday of November. Abraham Lincoln made that a rule."

Out of nowhere... this little boy says "Mrs. Gagley, do you think we will always be together?" (talking about them always being in the same class.) I thought this was a great question since this is all they know in their education career so far.
I replied "Well, what do you think?" After thinking for a minute, he said "Well, I guess we are going to have to be in different classes sometime." I agreed and we talked about how we would probably not always be in the same class. Most of the kids had a sad face when they realized that they would not always be together.

A little girl raises her hand and says "But, we will always be together in friendship."

And then another chimes in with "And...we will always be together in our hearts."

I just about cried. Seriously. Tears started to well up. It was by far the sweetest thing that I have heard come out of a child's mouth. It was so cute and innocent. After they heard this, the class cheered up and agreed with their friend's cute little statement. They talked about how they were always going to be friends even if they weren't in the same class. Some even said "I will be your friend even in college!"

So, yes, this class certainly needs a break from each other...but, after that sweet moment I think all of the stress and annoyances went away and we all realized that we are like a family.

Moments like that are why I would never want to do anything else. I love teaching....even if there are days when I think "Oh my! How am I going to make it?!" Or... "They are being SO annoying right now! We need a break from each other."

I think God was sending me a little message today. Maybe I need to take less time to focus on what little behaviors are annoying me and take more time to be THANKFUL for my little first grade "family". Because even first graders know what it means to "be together in friendship." :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

New year, new kids

I have started my 4th year of teaching, and man has it been busy! I agreed last year to take on an entire Kindergarten class. It's sort of like looping, but without their teacher. So all of my kids were together last year. I got a few new ones too...they were new to the area so they fit right in. So far it has been great. They all know each other and their parents know each other too.

They have made me laugh a few times first graders always do! Also, I have been told that I am "the prettiest teacher in the world" more than once. (I know, I know... you are jealous.) They are all very cute and sweet. There is only one who gives me "problems." But, we will work it out! It always gets easier as we figure each other out.

I am hoping for a wonderful year full of funny first grade sayings, and of course I will update you after! :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Ok, it has been way too long since I have posted anything. So sorry! I guess life has been busy....and I kind of forgot about my blog! Oops!

But, it is now half way through summer. (I can't believe it! It always goes too fast!) So far, I have had a great summer. As I do each year, I have been teaching swim lessons to former students, their siblings and some friends. In the past this has just been something to do every once in a while...with only a handful of lessons. But this summer....OH MY GOODNESS! It has been crazy! I have about 20 kids that I am teaching off and on this summer. Which is turning out to be very lucrative.....I have already paid off our portion of the family beach house. (Our trip is coming up in a few weeks) I love teaching kids how to swim...but I have come to find out there are a few kid swimming behaviors that just annoy the crap out of me:

1. Crying. Please do not is just water kid! Really?! Do we need to sob uncontrollably about getting our face wet? That is ridiculous. Don't get me wrong, I understand that the water can be scary for some kids, but when you cry every time you come to take a lesson from me I get tired of it very quickly.

2. Screaming. And not just a little scream... a booming, hurts your ear scream. Please do not scream IN MY FACE when I am trying to teach you how to kick your feet. Seriously. Someone is going to think you are drowning. And I may not have an ear drum when we get done. Thanks.

3. Going under water when I am talking. Not much to say about is just plain rude. I am trying to teach you, listen to me!

4. Making excuses. Don't make an excuse for why you can't go under. Just do it. I am not going to let you drown. Seriously.

5. Lack of trust. Most of the kids I teach in the summer have had me for first grade. I would think that it would be natural for them to trust me in the water. They know me, I know them easy right? WRONG. It takes most a few lessons before they fully trust me. I will not let you drown kid. TRUST ME!

Of course, these sound very negative, but I do love teaching kids to swim. I am not some swim Nazi that throws kids in the water and yells "SWIM!" I take a lot of time to work with each kid individually to get over their fears and develop their strokes. This is probably the best summer job for a teacher. I get to be at the pool and do what I love....and get paid! Nice!

This week the two "screamers" didn't scream in my face AND..... the "cryer" didn't cry. So... even though small...progress has been made! Now, if they can just keep it up and learn to do the strokes right..... I will keep you posted on that!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Holidays

Some of my favorite things happen during this time of year....Christmas! (of course)......a 2 week break from visits.......and of course.....FOOD! (Which if you know me is one of my favorite things about life!) I love going to all of the many places we go during the holiday season and eating all of the foods that only come out once a year! Why is it that we only make these special foods once a year? Well I have a theory on that.....

These cookies, cakes, dips, special meals with extravagant side dishes and various appetizers are only made at this time of year because if we made them all the time we would all be crazy fat! (At least I would!) When you live in the south, holiday food is not "light" or by any means "healthy." If it were either of those things then it wouldn't be true "southern" food. As I think of all of my favorite childhood holiday memories, most of them involve special foods and the people who I shared them with. (I am a true southern girl huh?!) And because we only get to have these treats once a year, my body thinks that I must stuff my face until I literally am in pain. It happens every year. I try not to, but it always happens. I think to myself..."it's the why not?" Or... "Well, I won't get this for another year so I better fill up on it now." Or... "Wow! This is amazing...give me more!" I am a true food lover, I's crazy!So we do this (massive eating) at least 4 times during the week of Christmas...with Brent's mom and step dad, Brent's dad and step mom, Brent's grandmother and extended family, and twice with my family! Whew....that is A LOT OF FOOD! (Believe me...I know from experience! Ha! Ha!)

And to add to it all, my family has a big get together on New Years. My mom's family decided a few years back that we wouldn't meet up at Christmas since everyone had so much going on and so many places to go. We decided that New Years would become our new celebration time. It has really worked out nicely for everyone, adds just one more place to see all of those wonderful foods that we all love......and more pounds to my waist!

I would like to say that next year will be different.....but we all know that it won't! There will always be an endless supply of wonderful food at all of the MANY places we go during the holidays! And....I will never pass it up, because I LOVE all of it! That is the joy of living in the south...right?!

So it is now 2010....I can't believe how fast 2009 came and went! We had a great Christmas and New Years, BUT I am glad that I have elastic pants! ;)